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A Billion Dollar Idea

This is the story of the most successful start-up in the history of Silicon Alley: in just eight years, a two-person start-up grew into the world’s largest network of work environments, communal offices, communities and workspaces. WeWork is valued at more than 20 billion dollars, operates 230 office locations in 21 countries and 71 cities around the globe, and aims to keep up this furious pace of growth. OOOM met the manager responsible for this runaway success in the global WeWork headquarters located in New York’s Chelsea district: Chief Growth Officer Dave Fano.

Herbert Bauernebel18. Juli 2018 No Comments

Dave Fano, Chief Growth Officer at Wework, Real Eastate, design, Development, sales & Marketing


Community as a driving force. The company’s mission statement, Fano goes on to explain, is to offer modern, cool work spaces to start-up founders, freelancers and professionals of all vocations, a space where communal work serves as inspiration, as a driving force for one’s own progress. The top manager points out another huge advantage that WeWork members enjoy: “We offer a global platform.” Members are able to use their membership cards in WeWork offices in other cities as well. This means that even the smallest start-up is provided with an infrastructure that was only available to multinational corporations not too long ago. “All of a sudden, a small enterprise turns into a global company, with 250 offices around the globe at its disposition,” Fano explains the concept. Excesses are prevented by the presence of office managers, who take feedback and suggestions in each of the office locations, and who guarantee smooth service for all and react to complaints, if, for example, a party gets too noisy. “We see every office complex as a community, which is organized as such. The ideal manager is flexible and able to specifically react to the individual needs of our tenants.”

Fano points out that work environments where everything works smoothly minimize friction losses and increase efficiency: “We help our clients to waste as little time as possible. The aim is to have every conference call up and running immediately, to provide quick-as-lightning internet.” Moreover, WeWork has long entered the business segment of creating work-space solutions for larger corporations—utilizing all the know-how of what a cool, efficient workspace is supposed to look like. Those companies, too, aim to provide a “great working experience” for their employees, Fano continues. “And that is the precise area where we have gathered expertise.”

850 million for the Lord & Taylor building. The rapid ascent of the tech company and the change of paradigms in the digital era found a symbol in a spectacular property deal: WeWork recently acquired the famous Lord & Taylor building on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan for 850 million dollars. The building is slated to be the new headquarters of the shared economy giant. The historic building was considered a monument of the retail industry, a segment which is steadily decreasing. Lord & Taylor, a department store, used to be an institution in New York. Now, the retailer will rent a reduced area for its own operations from WeWork.

Presently, Fano has logged in at one of the long communal tables. He considers the design aspect to be one of the crucial pillars of success for the company: whether website or app, interior design or the office space itself, WeWork takes pride in continuous improvement of every functional aspect. No detail is seen as too insignificant: the colors, the softness of a sofa, the construction of stairs to better integrate separate floors. WeWork is the largest and probably best-known start-up founded in New York, a flagship of the city’s tech scene, famed around the world as Silicon Alley. After Silicon Valley near San Francisco, New York is the second most important location for tech companies in the USA, including a large number of digital media corporations like, for example, the news portal Business Insider. 

18. Juli 2018